Tax and Spending Policy and Economic Mobility

Research Report

Tax and Spending Policy and Economic Mobility

Abstract

Tax rates can affect decisions regarding work, investment in human capital, and wealth accumulation, each of which modulates intra- and intergenerational economic mobility. Similarly, government spending affects mobility either by purchasing goods that may drive mobility, such as education and health, or by effectively lowering the cost of mobility-enhancing goods through tax deductions and credits. This review summarizes the literature on the effects of government tax and spending policy on economic mobility, with a focus on the impacts of changes in marginal tax rates, the tax treatment of wealth, and government spending on health care, education, and Social Security. (Review 10 of 11.)

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